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Dinosaur Park in Laguna Hills is the most common name I’ve heard for this amazing fossil-themed park behind the Laguna Hills Community Center at the corner of Alicia and Paseo De Valencia. Check out my one minute “park teaser” for a quick overview.
I’ve also heard it called: Dino Park and Prehistoric Park. It’s a great run-around park with 2 different levels and all sorts of play equipment.
Location: Exit Interstate 5 at Alicia Parkway and head towards Laguna Hills (away from Mission Viejo). Dinosaur Park is ahead on your right at the corner of Alicia Parkway and Paseo De Valencia – behind the Laguna Hills Community Center. [Address: 25555 Alicia Parkway, Laguna Hills). MAP TO DINOSAUR PARK NEAR LAGUNA HILLS COMMUNITY CENTER
- Different areas appropriate for different ages
- Concrete turtle sculptures
- Very clean indoor bathrooms at the Community Center
- Close to soccer fields so plenty of room to run
- Beautiful rose garden and flowering trees
- Fun discovering fossils in the rock walls and playing on “whale bones”
- Tunnels, bridges, and stairs for exploring
- 2 bench swings and one baby swing (on upper level)
- Great for birthdays and big gatherings
- Visit the inside of the beautiful Laguna Hills Community Center for learning more fossil history and visiting the small public library
- Renovation in 2011 resulted in: replacing a lot of the sand with recycled rubber surfacing — and automating the turtle fountains with sensors. They go off for 3 minutes at a time. (The city knows they are popular — and are trying to keep them functioning ALL year. Wanna know how you can help? Remind kids not to jam sticks or sand into where the water comes out. Thanks!)
- Access to tall tunnel slide on upper play area is precarious for toddlers
- The metal slides connecting upper to lower play areas can get really hot
- Some parents don’t like this park because their younger child will want to play on the lower level — and the older child will want to play on the upper level. So the parent runs around to be able to keep an eye on everybody.
- It backs up to Laguna Hills High School, so there are sometimes high school students there (outside of school hours during the school year)
- May compete for space with Community Center programs, city events, and soccer games at certain times of year
- Plentiful parking near Community Center
- Play surface: Recycled rubber and sand
- Bathroom building near to playground
- Numerous drinking fountains
- Starbuck’s, Subway, The Pizza Store are across the street in Ralphs shopping center
- Shade covers, trees, and patio cover over picnic area
- Large picnic area with shade near snack bar, as well as two accessible picnic tables on upper level near swings
- Most impressive picnic area with COVERED barbecue grills
- If the snack bar happens to be open, a portion of proceeds benefit the Laguna High School marching band and color guard
- Visit the City of Laguna Hills website for making reservations (it’s under “Community Center & Sports Complex)
- Nearby public library: The Laguna Hills Technology branch of the Orange County Public Library system (it’s small, but it does have a selection of childrens’ books available for check-out)
Originally published in October 2008.